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Review by bfd posted 01-27-2008 09:45 PM 17341 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A GREAT SAW A GREAT SAW No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

In my opinion you can’t buy a better saw for the money when it comes to quality. I disagree with the other post on one point calling this a great saw for a beginner. I think it is a great saw period! I don’t concider myself a beginner nor do I concider myself a pro by any means but somewhere in the middle like most. With that said I don’t think this saw will be a purchase that I will regret or out grow any time soon. I opted for the 30” Beisemeyer Fence and have upgraded the blade to a Feud 50 tooth combination thin kerf blade. The cast iron wings are a great feature. I have it hooked up to my 4” dust collector for easy dust removal. I ended up buying this saw vs. a cabinet style saw because of the price and ease of mobility (although It pretty much stays put). I also wanted a saw that didn’t need to be on 220. They say timing is everything and when I bought this saw it was on sale, I paid $380 vs. $450 for the saw and $340 vs. $400 for the Beisemeyer Fence, Rail and Table. Delta was also running a rebate at the time so I received a $100 rebate in the mail making this saw well worth it. This is by far one of my best purchases to date.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 4580 days

11 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4761 days

#1 posted 01-27-2008 10:32 PM

I had a right tilt delta contractors saw with the stock fence, and stamped wings. It was a great saw.
Up until two years ago I built everything I have posted so far with it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4839 days

#2 posted 01-28-2008 04:20 AM

Sounds like you got a great deal on your saw and fence. My saw, the Bosch 4000, is nice – but I sure would like to have one with the cast iron tables. Glad to hear that you are happy with it – that is the most important thing.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View mike02719's profile


245 posts in 4559 days

#3 posted 02-01-2008 02:50 AM

I’ve had this saw for about six years. it is the best investment that I ever made. About two years before I bought the Contractor saw, I bought a Unisaw and a 48” belt/9” disk sanding station at a bone yard for $200. The Unisaw was a Rockwell pre-Delta. It had a three phase motor and a damaged fence. Anew 220vac motor was $280, motor starter was $80, and $200 for a good fence. Still not a bad price for such a great saw, considering I still had the sanding station. I donated the Unisaw to a local college and they gave me a donation voucher for my taxes for the full value of the saw and the three phase equipment equalling $2900. I realized roughly a third of that for a tax deduction and made money when I bought the Contractors’ saw. This machine performed entirely different when hooked uo to 220v. I am yet to see it slow down no matter what the load is. I enclosed the stand with furnace tin with a 4” outlet at the bottom of the sawdust slide. My vacuum goes on the 4” outlet and works perfectly. I highly recommend this saw to anyone.

-- Mike, Massachusetts

View Garyswood's profile


51 posts in 4493 days

#4 posted 03-28-2008 08:25 PM

I have the same saw except a little older. I dont have the B fence on it but am thining about upgrading. Looks ethe the BC-50 but not overly impressed. However….here is my thinking….the only saw that I really want to upgrade to is the SawStop. Its fence is not included in the price and its a little cheaper than the BC-50. I am considering getting the sawstop fence and bolting it to my delta until the glorious day comes all is right wiht the world and the sawstop table saw arrives….with no fence…and I just swap them out and put the delta on cragslist.


-- Gary

View wpreman's profile


1611 posts in 4485 days

#5 posted 03-28-2008 09:49 PM

BFD….Thanks for your review on this product. I have been impressed by what I have seen and heard about it so far. It may be a new addition soon!

-- Bill, Florida

View ShopCat's profile


121 posts in 4352 days

#6 posted 08-10-2008 05:48 AM

This looks like an ongoing type of thread so even though it’s late I offer my $.02.

I own this saw with the 30” Beisemeyer. I added a Kreg miter gauge a bit later because I was doing some stuff that the original Delta miter just couldn’t quite get close enough. This saw is phenomenal. It not only passes the nickel test, the nickel doesn’t even move.

So far as I can tell using a Starrett combo square, cross cuts using the Kreg are off by something between 1/64 and 1/128 on a 12” run. That’s straight out of the box with no fiddling with trunions or anything other than running a Woodworker II blade and the Kreg miter. At that level of accuracy the wood will move more than the error, and all of the error is more likely the operator instead of the saw.

I also sealed the upper cabinet as well, but I used MDF and velcro so I could take it apart easily. I hooked up a four inch hose from my DC to the standard included dust funnel at the bottom and spend very little time cleaning up after even heavy usage. On its own 20amp breaker circuit, I never trip the breaker.

I did get a Rockler router on/off switch with the large STOP paddle as a replacement for the standard issue Delta switch. The switch is the only thing I have a problem with on the entire saw.

-- ShopCat

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4446 days

#7 posted 08-25-2008 05:36 AM

Thats a nice saw.

View Don's profile


26 posts in 4122 days

#8 posted 04-19-2009 02:23 AM

Maybe I just got the lemon, but my 36-978 has caused me so many headaches and time in adjustment and readjustment that if Delta won’t send a rep to my house to fix it, I’m going to sell it cheap and buy another brand.
I had a Delta contractor saw for nearly 18 years and loved it. Then, 4 months ago, I made the mistake of buying this new one. It was easy to assemble, but the blade was not alligned with the miter gauge slot, so that took some time to adjust. Also, the T fence that came with it was warped, so Delta gave me a new one. However, I needed to drive over 50 miles round trip to pick it up.

The new fence is straight, but it will not align properly. With the fence about 3” from the miter slot, I aligned it to near perfection: .001” with my A-LINE-IT system. But when I move the fence about 11” inches from the slot, the fence moves about .006 out of alignment.

But what really has me frustrated is the blade alignment. The other day I noticed the saw was no longer cutting wood square. The blade had somhow moved out of alignment about .006”, and after over an hour of frustration, I still couldn’t get it aligned. So yesterday I spoke with a Delta technician, who suggested I loosen and move the front trunnion. Boy-oh-boy, what a job to try and get to those bolts! Once I succeeded, I tightened it while the blade was misaligned in the opposing direction, which is what I wanted. Then when I when back to the trunnion located by the motor, it still won’t move far enough to allow alignment of the blade. In addition, when I first went to the back of the saw to readjust the trunnion, I noticed that the motor pulley was out of alignment by nearly an inch. I checked all the nuts that hold the motor down and the nut that holds the pulley tight. All were very tight. It’s a pure mystery how this happened.

Woodworking is supposed to be fun, but spending many hours trying to align the blade and fence, and not succeeding at such a simple task, this table saw has been a miserable experience. I know how to align a saw, so it’s not anything I’m doing wrong.

I was going to buy the Delta 17” drill press, but after reading reviews of it on this site, and people complaining that the quality of their equipment has been cheapened, I bought, and am very happy with, the Steel 17”. I wish I had done some web surfing prior to buying my table saw.

-- Don

View riptorn's profile


1 post in 4091 days

#9 posted 04-25-2009 10:52 PM

I bought a delta 36-979 table saw and i am returning it just as soon as my son comes to help load it in the truck. I am not happy with the overall quality. I have the upgraded delta rail system (t2). After fighting with getting it to slide smooth i realized it was missing a teflon pad, and the weld which holds the teflon pad plate had a huge burr on it causing binding on the rail system. This never should have passed quality control If they have such a thing in China these days. I guess I could fix it if I wanted to but hearing all the other alignment problems on this site and others I have decided to return it and fix up my old 30 year old Sears cast iron table saw. The fence system isn’t great but At least Ill get $650 dollars back and come up with a way to install a home made rail system. Quality control seems to be getting worse on products from over there and the prices keep going up. I dread loading the saw and taking it back, but Im due to be laid off soon and i can use the money to pay some bills. Oh yea! the 1st piece I cut (crosscut) was not square.

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 4537 days

#10 posted 04-26-2009 12:46 AM

DDB, I don’t know where you bought your Delta 36-978, but that saw does NOT come with a fence. .006 ? riptorn, I can’t imagine that an old Craftsman saw is ghoing to out perform the Delta. Both complaints seem pretty minor to me, certainly not enough to get worked up about.

View JimiThing's profile


22 posts in 3358 days

#11 posted 10-27-2011 03:54 PM

woodchuck… I dunno if you read what I read, but those complaints sound more than minor… maybe not the end of the world but if i buy a new saw i dont want to spend hours and hours on the trunnion and STILL have problems… i have a powermatic 64a and have owned the jet version of the same saw and they were dead straight out of the box to within .0005 … which is good enough but i adjusted it to .0001 and that took me MAYBE 10 minutes to TAP TAP TAP the trunnion…. and those 2 saws are both DIRECT competitors to this DELTA…. and are also MADE IN CHINA… so really? what is deltas excuse? anyone that cant see there is something wrong with the quality control at delta is guilt of being a Fanboy… sorry.

-- Got Wood?

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